Navy SEALs Tried to Locate US Citizen Abducted By Afghan Militants

In the days following the January capture of an American contractor in Afghanistan, Navy SEAL commandos raided a village and detained suspected members of a Taliban-linked militant network, The Associated Press has learned.

U.S. intelligence agents also tried to track the cellphones of the man and his captors, but the trail went cold. There has been little public discussion by the U.S. government of Mark R. Frerichs’ case, even as American negotiators arranged prisoner exchanges as part of their efforts to reach a peace deal with the Taliban.

Little is known about the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the contractor from Illinois. But the previously unreported operation, described by multiple U.S. officials over the past month, sheds new light on the American government’s efforts to locate him soon after he went missing and to collect intelligence aimed at his recovery.

A senior U.S. government official and a second Defense Department official spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The Pentagon and U.S. Special Operations Command declined to comment on the operation.

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